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Choas Isn’t Always Negative

So I was on a roll there for a bit with the posting in January. I had everything balanced – my assignments, pattern testing, the occasional order (with the understanding I can’t give a completion date), the blog posting… In addition to the everyday awesomeness of being a single mom. 

Well, something awesome happened that shook things up. I’m not going to go into detail at the moment, but I will share when the time is right. I will say though that it left me with a LOT to do in a short period of time. All of this with spinning assignments due. 

In addition to that, some family things have come up that see me having to be even more flexible. I don’t mind one bit. I always find a way. However, it’s added responsibility and requires more balancing on my part. Meh. Nothing I haven’t done before.

Sadly though, this means that my assignments have had to take a back seat lately. I am NOT going to let that stop me from finishing them though. It kills me that things just keep getting hurled in my direction that prevent me from getting them out on time (like yesterday I was finishing some up and the batteries died in my freaking label maker – C’MON!!!!), but it’s all out of my hands. I have been/will be in touch with my instructors to keep them updated. 

At this point, I have no intention of quitting. Yes, it adds some stress to my life. However, this stress is different. I have consciously chosen this stress. This stress gives me some reprieve from some of the shit flung upon me resulting from my past mistakes. This is my reward for keeping my head high and having to keep flushing the toilet on the past. Eventually, the pipes will get cleared. There are plumbers on the job.There will always be some toilet-flushing because that is life. I get it. I continue to keep the faith that that which is clogging the pipes now will also move forward. Someday. 

No, I have shifted my perpective towards this course. I think I said that before. I will keep saying it too. I’m not here to get the highest marks. I not here to compete with anyone. I’m here to become the best spinner I can be. I’m here for the feedback and knowledge of the instructors we have. If it means I have to lose marks because I can’t get my assignments in on time, so be it. I’ve stopped beating myself up about it because I’m only one person. I can look myself in the mirror and know that I am doing EVERYTHING in my power to make this work.

I don’t broadcast a typical day in the life of me. It’s nobody’s business. If I did though, I think a lot of people would be shocked. I think many think I sit around on my ass all day with a hook and yarn in my hand when I’m not on Facebook. Oh, how shocked those people would be…

Right now though, I am taking a break. I’m pet sitting a cat and a dog. The cat wanted out on the enclosed deck. It’s a beautiful day, something that has been rare lately. So I decided to join her (figured it was a good opportunity to sneak in an update too).I just melted in a chair, basking in the sun. I’ve been going non-stop this week, so I’ve made the excutive decision to take five. I earned it. After the sun is no longer direct, I will get back to work (it gets cold in here!). For right now though… Butt planted in chair. It’s so blissful out here. It’s like I’ve plugged my soul in and it’s recharging. I need that. It’s not that I’m not happy. Quite the contrary. In spite of the toilet-flushing, I can say that I don’t think there has ever been a time in my life where I’ve been more at peace. This place just nurtures that. 

Bliss - keepmeinstitchez.wordoress.com

Bliss (complete with kitty photo bomb)

I’m hoping this next week will be a little more “normal.” I will be feverishly working away on assignments though. I may not get to post until after the fact, but I plan on taking pics along the way. We’re getting into some interesting stuff – twist and grist. I’m enjoying it!

Hang on tight kids… Here we go!!!!!!!

I’m very sorry for having been so quiet recently. It seems like my world has exploded with both positive and not-so-positive events. Where do I start?!

I guess I’ll start with the not-so-positive to get it out of the way. It actually does have a happy ending. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned that I am a HUGE dog lover. I have two dogs, Kirby and Panzer, but they live with my mom. When I left the “bad place”, they needed a safe place to stay. I have since acquired a place where I can technically have them. But they’re happy with Mom and she’s happy with them. Kirby came into my life 15 years ago on May 22nd. He is my first “baby boy.” He went EVERYWHERE with me. He was by my side through the darkest times, often my reason for getting out of bed. Well, two weeks ago Wednesday, we thought we were going to lose him. It appeared that he had had a stroke. I was prepared to say goodbye to him on Thursday. We took him to the vet and she told us that he had Old Dog Vestibular Disease. It looks an awful lot like a stroke, but it’s not. The chances of recovery are VERY HIGH. It’s been up and down with him, but he’s doing pretty good. He was a little weak today, but this knocked the stuffing out of him. Long story short… This was a miracle!

The day I was sitting in the vet’s office with Mom and Kirby trying to decide his fate, my phone rang. I didn’t answer it. There was a message. When I listened to it I found out that I won a bursary!!!!!!! I AM NOW ENROLLED IN THE INTERMEDIATE SPINNING PROGRAM AT FLEMING!!!!!!!!!!!!! So I will be sharing my experiences there when I go in August. I am so excited! And so grateful!

Last, but not least… I am working feverishly to stock up Finnegan Lake Gallery, Kinmount Artisans Marketplace and Fibres with some quality, unique items. And I’m having a blast! I’ve been getting a lot of positive feedback and ideas for some new projects. One thing I want to try is turning slippers into shoes. I found a pattern for that on Ravelry and I’m looking forward to trying it (I don’t have the link handy, but I will post it when I start working on them).

So many wonderful, positive things going on! And there’s a moral to the story… Be careful what you wish for because it may just happen! The other one is if you’re passionate about something and your intentions are loving and clear, the Universe (God or whatever unseen force you believe in) will line it up for you!

The Fire

I was in my favorite yarn store yesterday. I picked up some bright, fun roving to spin and some yarn for a hat that I’m making for a friend of mine. (I was a good girl… I didn’t pick up anything I didn’t “need”, as difficult as it was!)

When I went to check out, I started talking to the co-owner (it’s a husband and wife team). I had said that I couldn’t wait to spin that roving up. He said said no doubt, it’s exciting because you never really know the results you’re going to get until you actually start spinning it. I agreed. That is so exciting! Then he said something along the lines of “I envy you and my wife. When I get up in the morning, I putter around. I go out to my garden, I work in my wood shop but I don’t really have anything in particular that I want to do. When you two get up in the morning, you KNOW what you want to do. You sit down at your wheel, forget to have breakfast. But you love what you’re doing.”

He is sooooo right!

That got me to thinking about how very fortunate I am to have found my passion when I have. Sure I could have found it earlier if I was in the right place at the right time. But I’m just so grateful I have found it now! Spinning and stitching are my life! It pays the bills. Provides gifts from the heart. It provides an outlet to deal with the residual garbage in my life. It centers me.

A friend got in touch with me the other day, asking me to call her mom. She wanted me to teach spinning. So I called her. It turns out it wasn’t for her. It was for her 11 year old granddaughter. I was ecstatic to hear about somebody so young wanting to learn how to spin! I’m not a professional by any means and I told her that. But I will pass on what I know. The more people that spin in this world, the happier it will be!

I hope that what I show her will help stoke her fire. And I hope that that fire keeps burning and she keeps it stoked. My life would have been so different if I had have taken this path sooner. I wouldn’t change things, but I know I would have had a lot more outlets to deal with life.

But I am BEYOND GRATEFUL that I have the fire now 🙂

I’m in Hookin’ Love!

Just a quick note…

I finally cracked and bought the pattern for Crocodile Stitch Boots from Bonita Patterns. I’d been dragging my heels because I don’t usually purchase from designers who charge for different sizes of the same pattern. But she bundled all 3 sizes for $10. And next week is my birthday. And I’ve been drooling over these patterns for months. Sooooo….

The experiences I’ve had recently with so many designers who are new-to-me, a majority of them have been really disappointing. It’s mostly gauge issues, but there have been some sizing issues as well. So it is with great reluctance that I purchase from somebody that I have not purchased from previously. I know I’m not alone on this!

Last night I picked up my hook and things were going well. Then I hit a wall. I’ll admit that the “colourful” language came out. I figured “Here we go again… Ugh…” So I figured I would scroll down to another size to see if it was explained any different. Well, I just had to scroll down a little bit because the answer was at the top of the next page!

This pattern is so well written and clearly explained with the help of photographs. She did an AMAZING job with this pattern. I’m a so impressed and would recommend to anyone! It’s a little on the advanced side, but if you’re a patient beginner, I’m sure you could figure it out.

I think she’s ending the sale tonight. Even if you don’t get in on the $10 action, I would say that this pattern is so amazing that I would even buy the sizes separately!

A Random Act of Kindness… The Pay Back :-)

Two months ago, my son and I received one of the BIGGEST random acts of kindness anyone could ever ask for. If you want to catch up, here’s the link.

Today was my son’s followup appointment (this time there was no vomiting and he arrived with his glasses 😉 ) After what this kind soul had done for us, I felt compelled to do something in return. So I decided to make her daughter a Spiderman hat. It just occurred to me last night at about 11pm that today was his appointment. So I figured I would challenge myself. And sure enough…

I have to say that I am rather proud. I don’t know if I could always crochet that fast, but I did when it counted!

The ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL news of the day… My son doesn’t need surgery! The glasses are working like a charm and all is well. We have to go back every 6 months, but I’m totally okay with that!!!!

If you would like to make a Spiderman hat of your own, check out this link.

You’re Lucky You’re Cute!

I’m not going to lie. It SUCKS when my son has to go for the weekend. It’s way too quiet.

I swear our kitty, Charlie (CharChar), has taken it upon himself to at least help to try to fill that emptiness. I can’t sneeze without him when my Sweet Pea is gone. He cries for him. He lays beside me. He lays around my shoulders or cuddles up against my leg. Then he usually makes his way up to bed where he either sleeps on my pillow or snuggles up very close to me. (Last night was an exception… I think he was a little too comfy on the couch and didn’t want to get up!) The little brat is also notorious for jumping up on MY spot on the couch when I get up to get a drink. Yes, he’s lucky he’s cute! He also like to cuddle with “The Guys” (Little Mickey and Pooh) when my Sweet Pea isn’t here…

The greeting, after a looooong weekend away (this happens every time)…

I won’t go into detail, but yesterday there were some pretty stressful events that went down. Rather than let those thoughts about not being able to do anything about the situation in the moment consume me, I decided to shift my energy elsewhere to something I CAN control. What’s my favorite method/tool for shifting gears? My spinning wheel. And after the two days that I spent up at the college this week, that just got me wound up even more (pardon the pun! hehehe)

So last night I pulled out a chair from the table. I got my wheel and set it up. And as I turned around, this is what I saw…

Okay buddy. That’s fine. I’m just going to pick out some roving to work with. It would seem that I need your approval now?

Don’t even THINK about it! Get away from that roving you brat cat!

“I’m not touching it! I’m not touching it! You can’t give me trouble because I’m not touching it!” It’s true. While he did stare it down, not once did he touch it. I think he knows better now. His little kitty butt would be going straight into kitty time out!

I swear CharChar KNEW that a bunch of us needed a laugh. Some of my friends had also had a rough day. I posted his antics and I think he brought quite a few smiles. I’m so blessed to have such a wonderful, crazy kitty!

Once he realized that I had to vacate my spot on the couch in order to spin, he curled up and had a nap. But not before he ran around every floor in the house! So when I was able to actually start spinning, this is what I got…

My sweetie made me post this to make my Facebook friends drool. I figured I’d better comply since he bought me the wheel and all LOL

And this is what it turned into…

I had no idea it was going to turn out THAT pretty! I may have to go get some more of that roving! The cool part is that the way this roving was structured gave me an idea on how to set my own up to get similar results with different colours. Now that I have that jar for sun dyeing, I may just have to play.

I’m off to spin some more.

A Random Act of Kindness

God: How do we change the world?
Evan Baxter: One single act of random kindness at a time.
God: [spoken while writing A-R-K on ground with a stick] One Act, of, Random, Kindness.
– from Evan Almighty

I try very hard to not talk about my personal life on my blog. I’ve made a few exceptions. I HAD to share this story. I hope that it serves as a reminder that YOUR random acts of kindness do not go unnoticed.

I won’t go into detail, but I think this past week could easily be described as one of the WORST weeks in my life.

Yesterday I had to take my four-year-old son to the ophthalmologist to determine whether or not the glasses he has been prescribed were effective enough to straighten out his eyes. They turn in from time to time, so there is a chance that he may need surgery to correct it.

On our way for the hour-long ride, he threw up about half way there. This is a child who NEVER throws up (I believe this was in keeping with the theme from my horrible week). The last time he threw up in the car with me, he was just a little over a year old. I got him cleaned up and we went on our way. Well, about 20 minutes later, he threw up again. My poor little guy. So I got him out of the car again and cleaned him up again. This time I took off his glasses and put them on the roof of my car to get them out of the way as I cleaned his little face. I dressed him in a t-shirt that was way too big for him. It was the only article of clean clothing I could find. I then called the doctor’s office to tell them that we were going to be running late. They said they’d squeeze us in, given the distance we had to come.

When I got him out of the car, he asked me where his glasses were. I could feel the colour draining from my face. I already knew the answer and my stomach just turned. There were a million thoughts going through my head and then reality set in: I left his glasses on the roof of my car as I drove off.

I started to cry. I had to pay $300 for these glasses out of the remainder of my student loan money. How on earth was I going to be able to afford to pay for a new set? We went in to the office and explained the situation to the receptionists. After we checked in, I sat in the office and rocked my little sweet pea, both of us quietly sobbing.

Suddenly, one of the receptionists came over and crouched beside us. She said “If it will help you, my daughter has outgrown her glasses. I don’t know what your son’s prescription is, but after you see the doctor, we can have a look to see how close they are.” She had mentioned that they were Spiderman. My son was THRILLED! They were also “transitions” lenses, which means they get darker in the sunlight, eliminating the need for sunglasses. I thanked her for her generous offer. I told her that I had planned on going back to where I thought I had lost them in hopes that they would still be there. But if that didn’t work out, I would certainly be in touch with her. I did all that I could to keep the faith that we would find them intact.

We went in to see the doctor. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much he could do without seeing the glasses on my son. He rewrote his prescription and said he would see us in 2 months. We went back out to the receptionist. I gave her my son’s prescription. She looked up her daughter’s. It was off by just a tiny bit. She gave me her home phone number and said that the offer is there if we need it. I thanked her and we left.

I retraced our steps. I looked down and found part of a lens. Across the road, I found the little frames all bent. I picked them up and then I started to cry again. What was I going to do? HOW was I going to pay for these?

I decided to call the eye doctor in my town to see what could be arranged. The line was busy. I tried again. The line was busy. Then I had an idea to call social assistance to see if there was any way that they would be able to help us out. My phone dropped the call.

Twenty-two minutes later, I received a message.

It was the receptionist. She said that she had checked with the doctor to see if her daughter’s old glasses would work for my son. He said that they would! She left the times when she was available for me to pick them up.

I started to cry. Again. This time it was tears of joy! I screamed at the top of my lungs “THANK YOU!!!! THANK YOU!!!!” My son started shouting this too.

This woman did something that saved us so much. It might not have been a big deal to her since the glasses were of no use anymore. But it meant the WORLD to us.

I asked her if her daughter still liked Spiderman. She said “Who doesn’t like Spiderman?” I sense a mother/daughter Spidey hat combo coming on 🙂

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again… Even what you perceive as the TINIEST gesture may mean the WORLD to somebody. I used to think I had nothing of value to give. Having experienced this first-hand, a can of soup means everything to somebody who has nothing. And when you help somebody who has nothing, you inspire them to help those in the same boat when they are in a position to give back.

What goes around, DOES come around.